Pregnancy Calendar Week 15
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 15At the size of an orange now, your baby weighs about 2-3 ounces and her facial features are really taking shape. And this week your baby may be ready for the big reveal: Are you having a boy or girl? It’s an exciting time! For you, thankfully throwing up is a thing of the past. But, believe it or not, your mouth isn’t in the clear and neither is your nose. Your hormones are wreaking havoc again with some unexpected, uncomfortable pregnancy-induced changes.Your BodyAt 15 weeks pregnant, a couple more common symptoms may have shown up in some places you weren’t anticipating:Swollen GumsIf you thought your mouth was one place in your body that might be spared from pregnancy symptoms, unfortunately it’s not. Here in the second trimester, you may be noticing that your gums are red, swollen and tender to the touch. This is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.You may also be seeing small bumps on your gums that bleed when you brush. A bump like this is called a pregnancy tumor—a rare, benign growth that’s harmless and typically goes away after you deliver.And, you guessed it: Your hormones are to blame. They’re causing your gums to swell and bleed more, and they also make your mouth more likely to accumulate bacteria and plaque, which cause your gums to feel more tender.Here’s what you can do to help:
- Take good care of your teeth and gums every day. This means brushing and flossing properly twice a day.
- Schedule a visit with your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. Get a comprehensive check-up and cleaning. Ask about how to best address your symptoms. But, be sure to avoid X-rays and schedule anything that needs anesthesia for after baby.
- Eat plenty of foods high in Vitamin C, which can make your gums stronger, lessening the chance of bleeding.
- Keep teeth and bones strong by getting enough calcium every day.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet; avoid sweet, sugary foods.
- After you eat, grab a handful of nuts, a few bites of cheese or sugarless gum; all help fight bacteria that begins growing in your mouth as you consume food.
In general, you need to take exceptionally good care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy. Lack of proper brushing and skipping floss time too often could bring on a serious condition called periodontitis. If developed, periodontitis can put you at increased risk for delivering a premature or low-birthweight baby, and it could also cause your teeth to fall out.NosebleedsAre you finding yourself all stuffed up these days and suffering with nosebleeds from all that extra blowing? If so, you’re among the many pregnant women with this common symptom, also referred to as rhinitis of pregnancy.All of this increased congestion is happening because your elevated hormones are diligently doing their job of increasing blood flow to your body’s mucous membranes, including your nose.The result?Swelling and softening that can lead to painful, annoying stuffiness and nosebleeds for you. Postnasal drip may also develop, which can cause coughing and gagging that keeps you up at night.Although you may continue experiencing increased nasal congestion and nosebleeds throughout your pregnancy, there are many remedies that can bring you some relief:
- When clearing your nose, use a gentle approach to minimize irritation: Close one nostril at a time with your finger and blow out gently on the other side.
- Steam is often effective for reducing stuffiness. Try using a humidifier or vaporizer; spend some time in your steamy bathroom after a warm shower; or hold up a dampened, hot washcloth to your face and breathe in.
- Keep your head elevated with extra pillows when you sleep.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Exercise can help break up your congestion, but stay inside when air pollution is high, which can make your stuffiness worse.
- Soothe your dry nasal passages by putting just a little petroleum jelly in your nostrils.
- Use a decongestant if your doctor says it’s safe.
- Consume more vitamin C, which can strengthen your capillaries, reducing the chance of nosebleeds. This is a good time to up your orange juice intake.
- If your nosebleeds are severe and frequent, discuss this with your doctor.
Your BabyIn the 15th week of pregnancy, your baby is getting stronger, looking good and giving you the answer (if you want it) to whether baby’s room should be in pink or blue.Your baby’s muscles are strengthening.With her muscle weight increasing, your baby is becoming stronger by the day. You may not be feeling it just yet, but she’s busy using those muscles to move more and more every minute. Her tiny legs are kicking, her arms are waving, her fingers are wiggling and she’s straightening out her posture.Your baby’s facial features are moving into place. As her ears move over to the sides of her head and her eyes make their way to the front of her face, your little one’s adorable look is coming into clearer focus. Some hair may now be on her scalp with eyelashes and eyebrows forming, too. Before long, you’ll be finding it hard to take your eyes off that beautiful newborn of yours.Your baby’s genitals may be visible. Have you been eagerly waiting to see if you’ve got a boy or a girl so you can start with all those exciting pre-birth preparations? You may be able to get your answer during an upcoming ultrasound. It will depend, though, on whether your baby is positioned so that the genitals can be seen. If not now, you may be able to find out in a later ultrasound.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 15:Drink at least 10 cups of liquids daily. Remember, as an expecting mother, you need to increase your daily fluid intake to about 10 cups. Water and milk are the best options; juices are OK too. Stay away from beer, wine and spirits to avoid the risk of physical or mental birth defects.Walk daily to help bring on baby’s first movements. Some expecting mothers first feel their baby move early in their second trimester, so you may be feeling these movements now, which are referred to as “quickening.” Walking daily will help prompt these movements. Enjoy the feeling.Things You Should Do
- Schedule your amniocentesis, if you decide to have one.
- With baby moving now, don’t apply flame retardant stain guard products to furniture. These contain chemicals that impair motor development and cause learning disorders.
- Buy organic stuffed pillows for you and your partner, so you don’t breathe in chemicals while you sleep; those with wool or cotton are best.
Words You Should KnowAlpha Fetoprotein: Substance produced by the baby in utero; high levels in a mother’s blood may indicate a neural tube defect or multiple pregnancy.Anemia: A condition in which the body has a reduced number of healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, a substance in the blood that carries oxygen to organs. This causes fatigue that can be severe.Endometrium: The lining of the uterus.Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes that begins during pregnancy and typically subsides after delivery.